Am I eligible to get a mortgage in the Netherlands?

Can you be a Dutch homeowner? 🇳🇱

If you’re thinking of buying a house in the Netherlands as an international, the first question that probably pops into your mind is: “Am I even eligible for a Dutch mortgage?”

Put simply: it depends! Who are you? Are you living in the Netherlands? What is your work situation? Do you have debt? Are you stressed? (Yes, it’s a real question!)

Rustig aan (Take it easy!). Let’s run through all the requirements and establish once and for all whether you’re eligible for a mortgage in the Netherlands.

What are the requirements for buying a house in the Netherlands? 

If there’s one thing we all have in common, it’s that everyone’s situation is different. 

Mortgage advisors know this, and will take a number of factors into account before deciding if you’re eligible for a Dutch mortgage. 

For internationals in the Netherlands, this includes factors such as: 

  • Your nationality and visa
  • Your work and income 
  • Your debt (and savings!)

With each of these factors, there are a number of requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible for a mortgage in the Netherlands — but the good news is that they’re not too bad! 

Let’s run through them.

Want to know if you’re eligible for a Dutch mortgage? Or whether that student debt will hold you back? You can book a completely free consultation with the experts at Expat Mortgages to answer these questions. This no-obligation appointment will give you a clear answer specific to your situation in less than an hour!

Your nationality and buying a house in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, your nationality shouldn’t stop you from being eligible for a Dutch mortgage. Image: Depositphotos

Worried that Dutch mortgages have a beef against the British, an argument against Australians, a setback for South Africans? The quick answer is to stop. 

“While the banks do care where you come from, for all nationalities, we have a tailor-made solution for this,” Richardo Cruz Fortes of Expat Mortgages explains.

The particular rules and hurdles will depend on a number of factors, such as whether you’re an EU citizen or not.

Am I eligible to buy a house in the Netherlands if I am an EU citizen? 

In short, yes! If you hold an EU passport, then the process of getting a Dutch mortgage is going to be basically the same as if you were a born and bred Dutchie. 

Which country you’re from should have niks (nothing) to do with it. 

READ MORE | 8 steps to getting a mortgage and buying a house in the Netherlands for expats

Instead, all you need to be eligible for a Dutch mortgage is to be registered at your local municipality and a resident of the Netherlands. Pssst! You’re a resident if you are registered!  

Am I eligible to buy a house in the Netherlands if I am a non-EU citizen?  

Are you from outside the EU? Then this means the process might involve a few more requirements. That being said, this doesn’t mean you can’t get a mortgage in the Netherlands!

Many internationals in the Netherlands are eligible for Dutch mortgages, and they succeed in buying a house! Image: Freepik

Dutch banks will likely just have a few extra requirements — like wanting to know the number of years you have been living and working in the Netherlands

What has this got to do with your eligibility? Some banks may only be willing to loan the money for a mortgage if you’ve been living here for more than just a few months.

In some cases, banks may even want to see that you have been living here for at least five years. 

READ MORE | Your borrowing power for a mortgage in the Netherlands in 2024

However, don’t let this news bring you down — there are still plenty of Dutch banks that will not have such strict requirements when it comes to the duration of your residence in the Netherlands.

It’s just worth noting that the longer you are living here, the more options a mortgage broker has for arranging that Dutch mortgage for you!

Am I eligible to buy a property when I’m not living in the Netherlands?

In short, yes — if you plan on moving to the Netherlands.

You can begin the buying process of a property in the Netherlands from abroad. In fact, mortgage experts can help you with this. However, in order to secure a mortgage in the Netherlands, you have to be registered and living here.

This means that at some point during the buying process, you will have to move to the Netherlands and register yourself at an address — unless you’re paying all cash, of course.

Your work, income, and buying a house in the Netherlands

Many internationals are happy to call the Netherlands their home! Image: Freepik

Of course, another important contributor to your eligibility for a Dutch mortgage is going to be your current work situation. Do you have a permanent contract? Are you a freelancer? How much do you earn?

All of these factors will play a role in determining your eligibility. 

Am I eligible for a Dutch mortgage if I don’t have a permanent work contract? 

Perhaps your employer hasn’t given you that permanent contract yet. Does this mean you aren’t eligible for a Dutch mortgage? Absolutely not! 

READ MORE | What is the Dutch National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG)?

Instead, you can ask your employer to write you a ‘declaration of intent.’ This is a letter stating that your employer will give you a permanent indefinite contract after the current contract expires. 

Often banks will then give you a mortgage based on this letter of intent.

Am I eligible for a mortgage in the Netherlands as a freelancer?

Yep! You don’t even need an employer in order to buy a home in the Netherlands.

For example, if you are self-employed as a freelancer (ZZP’er), then you just have to prove that you are an active freelancer and submit proof of income. 

READ MORE | Which experts can save you money when buying a house in the Netherlands?

In this case, you are eligible to get a mortgage in the Netherlands, but again, you must reach a number of requirements, including:

  • You need to have been active in your Dutch business for at least one year and have closed off one financial year.
    The longer you have your business, the better the chances are when it comes to getting a mortgage. When it comes to the amount of money you can get with a Dutch mortgage as a freelancer, it goes as follows:

    The banks will calculate your “salary” by taking your average profit for the past three years. If your business hasn’t been around for three years, they’ll deduct a percentage of the profit because your business hasn’t proved it has the longevity to survive yet
  • You need to have registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK).
    Having your business registered elsewhere (such as a foreign chamber of commerce) really complicates things and lowers your chances of getting a mortgage. 

    In other words, once you move here, it is — in the case of obtaining a mortgage — best to move your business here as well. It’s worth noting that this is actually quite a quick process, however. Simply register yourself for a one-time appointment at the KvK.
Freelancers are also eligible for a Dutch mortgage! Image: Depositphotos

Debt and your eligibility for a Dutch mortgage 

This is one of the most-asked questions that mortgage advisors receive in the Netherlands. So let’s wrap up by getting into it.

Can I get a mortgage in the Netherlands if I have debt? 

What a question! And, as with almost anything related to getting a Dutch mortgage, the answer is: it depends.

However, it’s nice to know that having debt isn’t the end of the road — it might just mean your borrowing power is lower. 

Unsure of whether or not your debt is simply too high to get a mortgage in the Netherlands? This means it’s time for you to sit down with a mortgage consultant. 

Ok, what about me? Want to know more about your specific situation? To get more concrete answers, you should book an appointment and sit down with a mortgage expert. 

Together with the team at Expat Mortgages, you can enjoy a free consultation, calculate your potential mortgage, and begin the journey to finding your home in the Netherlands. 

Am I eligible for a Dutch mortgage if I have student debt?

Now, this is the queen of the question kingdom. It’s also a normal question: after all, a lot of us internationals in the Netherlands are saddled with student debt. Let’s talk about it. 

Am I eligible for a Dutch mortgage if I have student debt from abroad?

According to mortgage expert, Richardo, “International student loan debt is considered the same way student loan debt from the Netherlands is considered.”

According to him, “The consultant will have to write a statement and explain how much the student loan will affect monthly expenses, and determine how long it will take to repay this loan, he explains.

“Based on this information, the consultant can make a thorough calculation of the impact of the student loan on the borrowing capacity for a mortgage in the Netherlands.”

READ MORE | Sustainability, remodelling, and your mortgage in the Netherlands

So, will this affect your eligibility mortgage in the Netherlands? Again, this depends on how much debt it is! Any debt is taken into account when determining your maximum borrowing power. 

There are a number of things to consider when it comes to getting a mortgage. Image: Freepik

Am I eligible for a Dutch mortgage if I have Dutch student loans? 

Ok, buckle up, gang because this is going to involve some maths. 

If you have student debt from the Dutch system (DUO) then a percentage of that initial loan amount is going to be deducted from your monthly mortgage allowance. 

The percentage depends on when you took out a student loan.

  • If you took out your student loan before September 2015, then a charge of 0.75% per month on the original loan amount is taken into account and will be deducted from your potential monthly mortgage. 
  • However, if you took your student loan out after September 2015, there’s a different loan system in place. Under this new system, only 0.35% per month is assumed.

Put simply, this amount is deducted from what you can spend on the mortgage on a monthly basis. Because this amount is lower, the maximum mortgage that you can get is also lower (makes sense, right?).

If you no longer have high debt or you have enough savings, it can certainly be worthwhile to just pay off your Dutch student debt to maximise how much you can borrow from a Dutch bank for a house.

That being said, it’s worth noting that Dutch mortgage experts are no strangers to dealing with clients who have student debt, and many people manage to obtain a mortgage in spite of this.

I’m single, does this mean I won’t be able to get a Dutch mortgage?

Who says you have to wait until you’re in a relationship to become a homeowner? While many of us may think that owning a house in the Netherlands is a distant dream if you’re single. This isn’t necessarily the case.

In fact, as of 2024, singles with a minimum income of €28,000 will be allowed to borrow an extra €16,000 towards their mortgage.

In doing this, the Dutch government hopes to help single people get their feet on the property ladder.

If there’s one piece of advice that you should take away from this article, it’s this: don’t be discouraged.

Everyone is saddled by some restriction or other when it comes to their eligibility for a mortgage in the Netherlands, yet, in spite of this, many people — including internationals — manage to get one anyway!

If ever in doubt, reach out to the experts. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Are you eligible for a mortgage in the Netherlands? Tell us your experience in the comments below!

Feature Image:Freepik
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Before becoming the Senior Editor of DutchReview, Sarah was a fresh-faced international looking to learn more about the Netherlands. Since moving here in 2017, Sarah has added a BA in English and Philosophy (Hons.), an MA in Literature (Hons.), and over three years of writing experience at DutchReview to her skillset. When Sarah isn't acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her trying to sound witty while writing about some of the stickier topics such as mortgages and Dutch law.

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What do you think?


  1. What about if I have a job (will be permanent or with a letter of intent) but my partner has a job and pays taxes in another country? Can we get the mortgage together and can our incomes be combined towards our borrowing power?

  2. It might be good to add, “Can I get a mortgage if I’m 55 or older?” I’ve heard mortgages are more difficult to get (for a first house purchase) to someone reaching retirement age within the horizon of the repayment period.


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